May 6, 2021
Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at the TAITRA Press Event
May 6, 2021
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Chairman Huang, Distinguished Guests, I am very pleased to participate in today’s launch event for the release of TAITRA’s supply chain report: Roadmap to Resilient Supply Chains.
I want to congratulate TAITRA for their tremendous efforts in publishing this inaugural whitepaper. This comprehensive analysis sheds light on complex supply chain trends, opportunities, and challenges that Taiwan industries are facing as the world rethinks the supply chain network of the past. The report also highlights the pivotal role Taiwan companies can play to promote and implement global supply chain resiliency in the future. I know this report will be a valuable resource for industry leaders and policy makers in Taiwan, the United States, and around the world.
Now more than ever, supply chain resiliency is of critical importance to the world economy. Our collective need to forge stronger, more secure supply chains with economies that share our economic values of free markets, private sector-led growth, respect for intellectual property rights, and rule of law is obvious.
We know that United States and Taiwan, working together, can come up with innovative solutions to address the pressing challenge of global supply chain resiliency. U.S.-Taiwan ties have never been stronger than they are today.
First, I want to thank TAITRA’s Chairman Huang and your team for being a key partner to my team at AIT as we broke new ground over the past two years in raising awareness about the importance of supply chain resiliency. Our collaboration on this topic has led to concrete outcomes here in Taiwan, in the United States, and globally. Since our initial launch of initiatives on supply chain resiliency and restructuring, we have brought in other likeminded economies, global CEOs, and business alliances to forge a path forward.
Second, I would like to take a few minutes to note some of the key highlights from last year.
In July, AIT and TAITRA co-organized an inaugural supply chain restructuring forum that brought together private sector industry leaders for the first time to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Taiwan’s information and communications technology (ICT) and semiconductor industry players as they restructure critical global supply chains.
In August, the U.S.-Taiwan Business Alliance was established to share information and integrate strategies for supply chain restructuring. TAITRA launched an impressive virtual platform to connect Taiwan’s industries with countries and economies seeking high-quality, anti-epidemic products. This virtual platform also links Taiwan public health experts and service providers to provide counsel and advice to U.S. hospitals and others around the globe.
In September, during the Czech Senate President’s visit to Taiwan, the AIT-TAITRA co-hosted forum with Japan and the EU on supply chain restructuring broke new ground by exploring bilateral, regional, and global policy and commercial opportunities for cooperation to achieve supply chain resiliency. The resulting AIT-TAITRA “Joint Statement on Securing Supply Chains,” has served as our roadmap to cement cooperation and awareness on this issue. I am pleased to say that today’s supply chain report was commissioned as part of the 2020 AIT-TAITRA Joint Statement on securing supply chains.
Following that event, the October 2020 joint AIT-TAITRA first-ever public session for Taiwan to participate in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) was a success. We reached governments and companies from 20+ countries and highlighted Taiwan’s central role in forging public private partnerships to create reliable global supply chains in the medical industry — even more critical due to the global pandemic.
In April 2021, TAITRA joined the United States, Japan, and the EU to share Taiwan’s best practice experience at a Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) workshop focused on supply chain resilience. Participants from more than 26 countries joined to discuss trends related to supply chain restructuring across the medical, ICT, and semiconductor industries.
And I am pleased to announce that at the end of May, the United States, Taiwan, the EU, and Japan will co-host a forum on tech supply chain partnerships and will convene experts from academia and the public and private sectors to exchange views on the challenges and opportunities for developing future tech supply chains.
As you can see, our joint U.S. and Taiwan initiatives are helping economies, sectors, and companies around the world to build out secure supply chains for the future. As we all love to say, “Taiwan Can Help, Taiwan is Helping.”
It does not stop there. In February of this year, the United States issued an executive order on supply chain resiliency, building upon AIT- TAITRA joint efforts. President Biden noted, “building resilience will mean working more closely with our trusted friends and partners that share our values, so that our supply chains cannot be used against us as leverage.” Taiwan is clearly a trusted partner.
AIT will continue to expand upon the supply chain restructuring efforts that we started in Taiwan last year. This includes working with TAITRA in 2021 to implement the AIT-TAITRA joint statement. It also includes working with Taiwan through the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue (or EPPD) that was launched last year.
In closing, I would like to re-emphasize that the U.S.-Taiwan friendship is built on a foundation of shared values, including our shared economic values that will drive future supply chains: free markets that are private sector-driven, sustainable growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. intellectual property rights, a level playing field. These shared values will enrich communities and economies throughout the Indo Pacific.